cherry + blueberry coconut rye bars

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I’ll confess — when you have a cat this charming, it’s hard to keep your lens on the food. However, after an exhausting week that had me racing about the city preparing for next week’s sojourn to India {can we not talk about all the shots in my arms and pills in my carryon and say we did? I’m pretty much vaccinated against any plague known to man}, tying up contracts and hosting a day-long strategy workshop with a client, cranking the oven became an exhausting proposition. Me being the introvert that I am, I spent the day flying solo and now I’m home with my Felix {whom I’ll miss terribly while I’m away, even though my housesitter assures me he will send pics daily} munching on these rye bars.

A note about the bars — I will say that they are best eaten chilled. Since there’s not a ton of gluten in the recipe, the chill allowed for the bars to bind a bit more. If you don’t have cherry or lemon extract on hand, you can use vanilla extract and a tsp of lemon zest. The original recipe called for oat flour, but I’m honestly smitten with dark rye — it’s earthier, heartier and gives a smoky flavor which perfectly complements the cherry preserves.

These bars were the BUSINESS, friends.

INGREDIENTS: Adapted from Camille Styles
1 cup gluten-free oats
1 cup dark rye flour
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp lemon extract
1/2 cup coconut oil, melted and cooled
2 tsp cherry extract
2/3-3/4 cup cherry + blueberry preserves
1/2 cup raw pecans, finely chopped

DIRECTIONS
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together RYE flour, oats, brown sugar, baking powder and sea salt. Set aside.

In a small mixing bowl, stir together cooled coconut oil, lemon + cherry extracts. Add wet ingredients to the flour/oat mixture. Use a spatula or wooden spoon to mix together, ensuring that all ingredients are incorporated.

Pack half of the oat mixture into a greased 8×8 baking pan. Top with preserves using a silicon spatula covering the oat mixture evenly. Sprinkle the top with the rest of the oat mixture. Top with chopped pecans. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until topping is browned. Set on a rack to cool and chill before serving. Makes approximately 9-11 bars.

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